Wealth can make you optimistic and healthy, or is it vice versa?

Here comes another study about attitude and health, this time reported in the journal Circulation, and then in the
Washington Post. The happier women were less likely to develop heart disease and 14 percent less likely to die from any cause than their pessimistic counterparts. Those with a high degree of "cynical hostility" were 16 percent more likely than all others to die during that same period. The happier women also took better care of themselves and were more likely to follow doctors' orders. But even the lead author of the study says that optimism is associated with better health; there's no clear proof that it causes better health. More research is necessary. Of course. Though the investigator goes so far as to say that negativity is toxic.


Which came first?

But what's cynical hostility and what's sarcasm and what's dark humor that gets you through the day? In a wonderful and awful piece about his late wife Sheila Schwartz, author Dan Chaon writes: Most people don’t like a sarcastic cancer patient, actually. It’s scary, and we discovered, as the years of her illness progressed, that even our dearest friends were reduced to platitudes.
Schwartz died of ovarian cancer more than a year ago.

But we here at Cancer Bitch Central love the sarcastic cancer patient. The sarcastic patient is telling the truth, busting through platitudes. Sheila would read mushy gushy articles about the gifts of cancer and say sardonically, I’m missing out on all these great opportunities for personal growth.

As Shelley Lewis writes in Five Lessons I Didn't Learn From Breast Cancer (And One Big One I Did): If you think cancer is a gift, don't come to my birthday party.

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SaraLouise said...

great take on your life.
am working my through your posts and am glad i found you :)
my mam has a rare type of cancer called Pseudomyxoma, which originates in the appendix. your blog is so wonderful & i cant wait to read the rest .
we have set up out own blog which makes people smile hopefully and give hope. my mam wasnt ready to detail her story but when i showed her these quotes and images on my blog in hospital it made her smile so i kept it up for others. i hope you have a look
Take care
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Cancer Bitch said...

Hi Sara,
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